Thursday, October 11, 2007

can you hear me now?

Much of the globe's international telephone traffic flows through the United States, as shown by this rendering of 2005 international phone-call traffic from telecommunications resarch firm, Telegeography.
Illustration: Copyrighted Map Courtesy of Telegeography
Wired currently has this article "The NSA's Lucky Break: How the U. S. Became the Switchboard to the World,". It shines a light on how tariffs and communication precedents in the last century positioned the U.S. to be the world hub for communication. The NSA will be able to tap all of it.
" Leading House Democrats introduced the so-called RESTORE Act (.pdf) Tuesday that allows the nation's spies to maintain permanent eavesdropping stations inside United States switching centers."
What's perhaps most fascinating - beyond the dark side of this universal surveillance- is the notion that you simply need to tap about 3 locations in the US to have a direct line to almost all of the world's telecommunications.

1. Los Angeles: 1 Wilshire Blvd.
2. New York: 60 Hudson Street
3. Miami: NAP of the Americas

Talk about shaping lives and having impact on how the 21st century is experienced.

See Kazys Varnelis on the idea of the Centripetal City.

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